Trying out new fruits, vegetables and grains is one of my new fascinations. So, I decided to try out Ragi, also know as Finger Millets. Millets are way more nutritious compared to wheat and polished rice, so I thought why not try it out! I am citing this off internet after a quick Google search but some of its health benefits are:
- Aids weight loss ( Well, who doesn’t want that! )
- Is rich in Calcium and Iron ( I can definitely do with some of that stuff )
- Is a good source of Tryptophan, which is a relaxant ( Ha ha, welcome any weekday/working day )
- Is a decent source of proteins and fibre ( bring em on!)
Enough of reasons, lets get to making it!
Ragi / Finger Millet Idli with Molagapodi and Filter Kaapi for Breakfast – breakfast 44 of #100happybreakfasts ! The idlis were way softer than my expectations and it does feel too heavy or chewy or anything unpleasant while eating. A little grainy but nothing irritating! Best eaten hot, but they weren't too bad cold either. The batter is made in the same way as normal idli batter with whole Ragi grain, Gota Urad Daal and Rice in 2:1:1 proportion. You may use ragi flour and skip the grinding. I used the whole grain because I am not very sure about the quality and purity of the Ragi flour that was available in my neighborhood store. Citing the internet, Ragi is rich in fibre, calcium, vitamin D and tryptophan, a relaxant. Well, since it is Monday, I am not complaining! 😉 #ragi #fingermillet #nagli #idli #ragiidli #molagapodi #filtercoffee #millets #rice #lentils #vegetarian #vegan #glutenfree #paleo #whatsonmyplate #whatsforbreakfast #lensplated #myblrbrkfst #myblr #srujans100happybreakfasts #healthyyetdelicious #healthybreakfast #healthybreakfastclub
Well, if you are new to South Indian food and have never heard of Idlis, Wikipedia will give you a crash course on it here. Idlis are small steamed cakes made out of a fermented batter of black lentils and rice. Usually served with coconut chutney and sambar, there are many variations about serving them. Here is the recipe of the basic lentil and rice variant!
- 1 cup parboiled rice / idli rice, see notes
- 1 cup gota urad dal (skinned whole black lentils), see notes
- 2 cups Whole Ragi / Finger Millet grain
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, optional
- 1 1/2 salt, or to taste
- Soak the lentils+fenugreek, the rice and Ragi / Finger Millet in separate vessels for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain all the water from the dal, rice and Ragi. Grind in the wet grinder or the grinding attachment of your food processor about 1/2 cup at a time. Do not crowd the grinder jar with all the dal at once. Initially do not add any water. Once it coarsely ground add a couple of tbsps of water at a time and grind till its a smooth and fluffy paste.
- Transfer into a deep vessel.
- In the same grinder jar, add all the Ragi and grind it adding as little water as possible. It won’t really grind to a very fine paste like the daal, but will remain a bit grainy. Transfer it to the vessel containing urad dal. Any daal that sticks to the walls of the jar will be mixed with the rice and it is fine since we are going to mix them later anyway. Do not add too much of water else the idli batter will be too watery.
- In the same grinder jar, add rice and grind in the same way as the daal. You do not need to rinse the jar.
- Transfer this to the vessel containing the ground urad dal.
- Once everything is ground, mix well with clean hands or a spoon. The urad dal will tend to settle down at the bottom of the vessel, so mix very well.
- Cover with a lid and leave it in a clean place for about 12 hours to ferment. In cold climates, it might take up to 24 hours.
- Once it has fermented well, risen to about twice its original volume, add salt and use it to make idlis immediately.
- If you plan to use later, do not mix the salt but store in an airtight container for later use. When you intend to make idlis, take the necessary quantity of batter in a vessel from the refrigerated container, put the rest of it back into the refrigerator immediately and let the batter you intend to use the stand on the counter for an hour or so till it comes to room temperature. Add salt just before using.
- There are special moulds available for steaming idlis, which look something like this. Heat a large pot, large enough to hold the steamer with about 1-2 inches of water, not touching the lowest set of moulds and heat it.
- Oil the moulds and spoon the prepared batter filling 3/4th of the mould. Tap gently settling the batter evenly.
- Once the water is steaming, gently lower the moulds into the pan, cover and let them steam for about 8-10 mins.
- Remove the moulds from the pan and let it cool on the counter for another 5-10 mins. Once slightly cool, unmold them using a spoon or a knife.
- Serve warm with Coconut Chutney and Sambar.
- The idli rice is short and stout grain and will be easily available at Indian Grocery Stores. If you use ordinary rice, the difference will be subtle and not drastic. Go ahead and use any variety of polished rice you have in stock. I haven’t tried making the same with brown rice. Will make a separate post when I try that.
- Gota Urad dal is black lentils which are skinned, but not split. If you cannot get the whole ones, please feel free to you the split ones, again the difference is subtle.
- The fenugreek seeds can be skipped, it won’t make any difference to the taste. The addition of these however aids digestion.